2022 Honorary Degree Recipients

An Honorary Degree from Colorado College is the highest honor that the College can bestow. Degrees are conferred to selected individuals at Opening Convocation in the Fall and at Commencement in the Spring. Degree recipients are chosen with great care following thorough evaluation by the Academic Events Committee, the President's Cabinet, and the Board of Trustees. The honor is awarded to individuals who have rendered distinguished service to society or made extraordinary achievements in their own profession.

The following individuals were awarded Honorary Degrees at the 2022 Commencement ceremony:

Jessie Pocock (she/her) ’08

Jessie Pocock

Jessie Pocock ’08 is a queer activist leader who has made transformative changes in the nonprofit sector in Colorado. She is the executive director of Inside Out Youth Services, a Colorado Springs LGBTQIA2+ youth nonprofit. Founded in 1990, IOYS builds access, equity, and power with LGBTQIA2+ young people ages 13-24. The organization is an education and advocacy hub that serves several hundred young people inside its community center annually and several thousand young people outside in the community through advocating for inclusive policies locally and statewide. She currently serves as a commissioner on the Colorado State Suicide Prevention Commission and is a 2021 Civico Governors Fellow.

Prior to her work at IOYS, she worked as a grassroots organizer with One Colorado advancing statewide LGBTQIA2+ inclusive policies; was executive director of the LEAD Foundation; and served as the vice chair of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Her honors include the 2014 nonprofit Entrepreneur Award of the Year from the Colorado Springs Independent and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, being the 2014 UCCS MPA Graduate of the Year; the 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award from Pikes Peak Community College; and being a 2020 Woman of Influence by the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

Pocock’s deep commitment to service was born out of community. She was raised by her parents and a slate of fierce femmes who took her in as a homeless 13-year-old and helped her cultivate a life when she got sober at 17. This year she celebrated 22 years of sobriety and is publishing her first book, "Stepdaughter, the Desert," a poetic essay forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.

Since becoming executive director of IOYS, she has committed to making sure teens and young adults have a safe space where they can feel affirmed and celebrated, gain skills, and launch into the next phase of their lives as LGBTQIA2+ people. She and her team work to call all community spaces toward uplifting LGBTQIA2+ young people. 

Pocock was born in Colorado Springs and attended Pikes Peak Community College, earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Colorado College and a master’s in public administration from University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She has created spaces for equity and inclusion at the policy level and the direct program level. Her leadership at IOYS, along with a team of knowledgeable and committed staff, volunteers, and youth members, fulfills a critical need in El Paso County. She has created a life-sustaining and transformative community space for LGBTQIA2+ youth, adults, and their families, supporters, and allies. She ensures that justice work is paired with mini-dance parties and in the spirit of IOYS mission, the celebration of wholeness, inside and out.

Alan Ricks ’05

Alan RicksAlan Ricks ’05 is a founding principal and chief design officer of MASS Design Group. He leads strategy and design of the 100-person firm, which has projects in over a dozen countries that range from design to research to policy — a portfolio that continues to expand the role of design in advancing a more just world.

In 2017, Ricks and MASS were awarded the National Design Award for Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual awards program celebrates design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of the impact of design through education initiatives.

In 2018, he and MASS received the Arts and Letters Award for Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Ricks is a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders with the World Economic Forum, a community of over 800 men and women selected under the age of 40, who operate as a force for good to overcome barriers that elsewhere stand in the way of progress.

Currently, he is the William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture and has previously taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He earned a bachelor of arts from Colorado College and a master of architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

He founded MASS Design — a nonprofit firm committed to social justice in architecture — in 2009 with Michael Murphy. The firm’s initial projects were built in Rwanda in partnership with Dr. Paul Farmer’s organization, Partners in Health. Their approach to design of a hospital was to ensure the building was built with local materials and methods, was sustainable, and put the needs of the patients first. The firm continues to work in Africa and has also built a cholera hospital in Haiti, among scores of other projects. In the process they have trained a new generation of African architects, many of whom remain a part of the MASS team. Their work has attracted international attention for pioneering hospital design that contributes to healing. They have been featured in columns by Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times, as well as many other publications. MASS designed the National Memorial for Peace and Justice (sometimes called the lynching memorial) in Birmingham, Alabama, in collaboration with Brian Stevenson.

Price D. Strobridge

Price StrobridgePikes Peak Poet Laureate Emeritus Price Strobridge has spent his life in Colorado reading, writing, and reciting poetry. Sharing his zeal and passion for all poetry, and heartening the residents of the Pikes Peak Region to experience the same joy, is his greatest gift to our community. In addition to his hundreds of public performances, Strobridge published “Unmasking the Hearth” (Impavide Publications, 2000), served as Pikes Peak poet laureate from 2012 until 2014, and continues to volunteer his time to involve anyone with heart to acquire a passion for poetry.

Strobridge first felt the music of words in high school while reading “The Canterbury Tales.” Later, inspired by poets Andrei Voznesensky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, he began to write and perform poetry. Now in his seventies, Strobridge continues to write and perform poetry and is one of the best-known and most beloved poets in Colorado and the Southwest.

Strobridge’s poetry consistently inspires and energizes community audiences. However, when his life story is woven through his poetry, the level of inspiration rises exponentially. When  Strobridge’s father abandoned his young family, Price and his brother found themselves alone at the Myron Stratton Home — an overwhelming experience for any child. In recent years, Strobridge’s keen memories of life at the Myron Stratton Home have been invaluable to historians there and at the Pikes Peak Library District, as he has worked with photo archivists to identify people and places associated with the home. Strobridge continues to visit the Stratton Home to offer free poetry readings and workshops to current residents.

Working as a rural mail deliverer and a carpet layer, Strobridge did not have the opportunity to attend college. Strobridge has spent his lifetime in the pursuit of self-education, and is a walking “Wikipedia” of poetic knowledge! He can quickly recall all the facts about any poet one can bring up, and can recite from memory just about any poet’s work, be it contemporary or classical.

As Pikes Peak poet laureate, Strobridge reached over 10,000 patrons of the Pikes Peak Library District, presenting programs at every PPLD facility. Strobridge quips, “I got my degree at PPLD.” He spent an entire month on the mobile library van, visiting many senior care facilities in Colorado Springs, and local caregivers reported that after Strobridge’s presentations many patients who had been uncommunicative for years opened up and shared. Strobridge continues to present readings and poetry workshops at colleges, high schools and elementary schools, for service groups, and in the public library for groups of all ages. His patience, respect, and kindness combine with his knowledge and love of language to create an amazing teacher, a very special cultural icon.

Strobridge has presented readings and workshops for students, faculty, and the public at Colorado College. His poems are featured in the Hulbert Center for Southwest Studies publication, “Poems from Baca Grande.”

Report an issue - Last updated: 05/27/2022

Livestream Information

For family, friends, and members of the campus community who are not attending Commencement or Baccalaureate in-person, both ceremonies will be livestreamed on the Commencement homepage. Honors Convocation will be livestreamed at coloradocollege.edu/live.


Many lodging options are available in the Colorado Springs area, including the partners linked below.

The Antlers Hotel
4 S Cascade Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

The Mining Exchange
8 S Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Hyatt Place
201 E Kiowa St
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(When booking online, select your dates of stay and press “search." The group code will automatically populate.)

Campus Housing (in South Hall)

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Grad Images

Grad Images will be available in the Perkins Lounge in Worner Campus Center from 1-4 p.m. on Friday, May 20, to take individual, professional photos of you in your cap and gown. Once images are processed, you will be able to review and select specific photos for purchase at GradImages.com

Flowers for Sale on Sunday, May 22

Looking for a special way to honor your graduate? Want to skip the stop at the store on the way to Commencement? You're in luck! There will be flowers for sale at Ed Robson Arena when doors open at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 22. These flower sales are a fundraiser, with proceeds supporting the CC Pantry Exchange and Arts & Crafts Programs. Items for sale include half dozen roses, full dozen roses, double orchid leis, and stuffed graduation bears. Cost runs from $25-$60 for individual items and combo specials. First come, first served. Credit or debit card only.

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